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Encouraging Creativity

Students need to understand that there is usually multiple paths that lead to understanding. They should be encouraged seek out and experiment with new things or ideas. They should be taught to ask questions and investigate when things do not make sense. The need to learn to view mistakes as an opportunity for leaning rather than something that was unsuccessful. Students should also follow their interests and think "outside the box" whenever possible. It is also valuable for them to be open to other's ideas so that they can learn how to build upon and reconstruct their own conceptual knowledge.

Research supported statements and teacher's action congruent with goal

Teachers that want to encourage creativity in the classroom should make sure they are giving their students a lot of choice and different options when it comes to assignments and projects. Denise de Sonza Fleith (2000) found in her research that teachers encourage creativity by, "not imposing too many assignments and rules on students, giving students choices, providing students opportunities to become aware of their creativity, and accepting students as they are." All students can be creative in some way, and it is the teachers difficult task to provide opportunities for students to develop their own creative thinking.

Teachers can do a number of things to make sure students have the chance to show their creativeness. One example would be when students are given a research assignment, teachers could encourage students to either write a paper, do a presentation, perform an experiment, or use technology to present information. This gives all students the chance to complete the assignment in their own creative style. Not only can teachers give options on assignments, they can ask students how they would like to accomplish the task. Giving students this kind of choice empowers them and hopefully motivates them to do their best.

Fleith (2000) determined that, "in a climate in which fear, one right answer, little acceptance for a variety of students products, extreme levels of competition, and many extrinsic rewards are predominant, it is difficult to foster high levels of creativity." The true reward a student should receive for being creative is purely intrinsic. In order to avoid a competitive and extrinsically rewarding classroom, the teacher needs to provide a friendly and comfortable environment that students can feel comfortable enough to voice their opinions and explore new ideas. One way to get students comfortable enough to do this is for teachers to model creativity and show their own interests. Beth Hennessey (1997) suggests teachers, "Show students that you value creativity, that you not only allow it but also actively engage in it."






Teacher Tips

Appreciating and Valuing Diversity

Are You Really Listening?

Coaching for Success in the Classroom

Goal Setting

Developing an Interest in Science and Math

Developing Communication Skills

Developing Problem-solving Skills

Effective Discipline

Encouraging Cooperative Learning

Encouraging Creativity

Encouraging Students to Explore for Answers

Fostering Independent Thinking

Motivating Students

Overcoming the Fear of Making a Mistake

Practicing Effective Questioning


Self-Evaluation Using Video

Teaching with the Constructivist Learning Theory

Teamwork in the Classroom

There is Not Always Just One Right Answer

Understanding Different Learning Styles